Category Archives: Uncategorized

ACADEMIA OBSCURE TITLE AWARD

I signed up to receive academic papers from Academia.edu (a repository of academic journal articles) relating to the topics I write about in this blog, mostly interesting and clearly written. However, along with these I receive a steady stream of … Continue reading

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MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA: trainspotting!

‘Long live the poetry of the propelling and propelled machine, the poetry of levers, wheels, and steel wings1, the iron screech of movements, the dazzling grimaces of red-hot jets.’ From: ‘We. A Version of a Manifesto’, Dziga Vertov, Kino-Fot no. … Continue reading

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MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA: reflections

Studying ‘Man with a Movie Camera’ carefully, shot by shot, for two previous posts on the locations and cameras, I was struck by the repetition of reflected and reversed images throughout the film from the first dramatic view of the … Continue reading

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MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA: the first cinema screening

In the spring of 1927 Dziga Vertov* moved to Kyiv to work for VUFKU, the All-Ukrainian Photo Cinema Adminstration (Vse-Ukrains’ke Foto Kino Upravlinnia, ВУФКУ – Всеукраїнське фоtокіноуправління) after being sacked by Sovkino, the Russian equivalent, for being over budget on his film ‘One … Continue reading

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MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA: the film locations

1929 poster for the film by the Stenberg brothers ‘We leave the film studio for life, for that whirlpool of colliding visible phenomena, where everything is real, where people, tramways, motorcycles, and trains meet and part, where each bus follows … Continue reading

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Adriano Olivetti

  Adriano Olivetti in memoriam 11th April 1901 – 27th February 1960   A film about the greatest industrialist of them all: https://youtu.be/Ax_zKlnSxHE        

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Why is Computer Design stuck in the 1950s?

  Compared to my first computer, an Apple Macintosh 128K, the modern device has an awesome amount of computing power. I have just bought a Hewlett Packard ‘All-in-One’  PC with wireless keyboard and mouse, 24″ screen, 8GB of RAM and … Continue reading

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MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA: the movie cameras

1929 poster for the film by the Stenberg brothers Dziga Vertov’s 1929 masterpiece ‘Man with a Movie Camera’ is a staple of film studies courses and has been analysed and written about countless times. What has had no attention, surprisingly, … Continue reading

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Apple Park

Steven Levy of Wired magazine was invited in for a tour of the vast new Apple headquarters building in Cupertino, California, designed by Foster and Partners. Opened in April 2017 the building has cost a reported $5 billion, and the … Continue reading

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Archispeak #1 – TEA, Tenerife

WHAT ARCHITECTS SAY VERSUS THE REALITY! Tenerife Espacio de las Artes, Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2008 ARCHITECTS: Herzog & De Meuron, project directed by the Canarian architect Virgilio Gutiérrez ARCHITECTS: “…..A new public path diagonally cuts through the building complex connecting the … Continue reading

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Dismal Designs – Nikon D5

In complete contrast to my previous post……. The grotesque looking D5 is the epitome of everything I loathe about the current offering of DSLR cameras. It is the Mr Creosote* of cameras, a misshapen lump with buttons, lids, and switches scattered at … Continue reading

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Delightful Designs – 1946 SIRIO Elettra II camera

As well as being a Leica fan I’m also intrigued by the many ‘Look-a-Leicas’ that mostly appeared in the decade after WW2. The launch of the first Leica in 1925 caused a sensation, changing the way people took photographs. Tens … Continue reading

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Japanese Style

  I took this photograph in Gion, the historic part of the city centre in Kyoto. Not posed at all, they were just walking down the street, totally absorbed in each other. Over the past decade it has become quite common to see … Continue reading

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Whistler’s Haircut

James Abbott McNeil Whistler (1834-1903) was one of the greatest artists of the late nineteenth century, and the finest etcher since Rembrandt. An expatriate American, he had a huge influence on the cultural world of London and Paris, friends with … Continue reading

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Beyond The Dreaming Spires

THE OTHER OXFORD, FAR FROM THE TOURIST TRAIL Mention Oxford to most people and an image of beautiful golden stone buildings with spires and domes comes to mind. The High Street or ‘The High’ is surely one of the most … Continue reading

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Leica 1 Model C – The First System Camera

The renowned optical instrument firm of Ernst Leitz of Wetzlar in Germany produced the first modern camera in 1925, the Leica 1 Model A.  Designed by two brilliant engineers, Oskar Barnack and Max Berek, it revolutionised photography by using 35mm … Continue reading

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Blot on the Historic Townscape

King’s Lane Development, Cambridge, UK (1967)  – Architect: James Cubitt & Partners  There are so many third-rate modern buildings around they just blend into the background, but sometimes you come across one that is so crass, ugly, and ridiculous that … Continue reading

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Dismal Designs – The Hearing Aid

WHY ARE HEARING AIDS SO BADLY DESIGNED AND OVER-PRICED? An elderly relation of mine has some Starkey 3 Series hearing aids which cost an extraordinary £2,500 ($3,600)! Apart from the outrageous price, of which more later, this is one of the most … Continue reading

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